Category Archives: Passenger Cars

Passenger Cars

Toyota Takes a Beating

The immense wave of controversy, now in its second month, over alleged unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles is having impacting consumer sentiment negatively, according to market research firm Decision Analyst. 

Toyota has become less appealing to 53 percent of Americans, while at the same time 29 percent of Americans view Ford as having increased its appeal. Those were key findings contained in the firm’s New Vehicle Brand Barometer Study of 4,294 American consumers. 

Those are the “high-line” results, and less apparent are the competitive eddies swirling around all automotive brands today that are also impacting the scene. In addition to Ford, Chevrolet and Honda have also gained stature with the consumer populace over the past few years, and Chrysler joined Toyota as the only other net loser. (Chrysler’s loss was not nearly on the magnitude of Toyota’s fall from grace.) read more »

Passenger Cars

New Fiat 500 Electric Vehicle for the US

Chrysler Group LLC today announced its plans to engineer and produce a pure electric vehicle using the Fiat 500 platform. Shown earlier this year at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, the Fiat 500EV demonstrates the immediate benefits of the alliance between Chrysler Group and the Fiat Group as well as the speed at which the two companies can work together on advanced vehicle programs.

“The alliance with Fiat presented new opportunities to merge Chrysler Group engineering knowledge with new platforms and the Fiat 500EV is an outstanding example of our efforts,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President Engineering—Chrysler Group LLC. “The Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric-vehicle technology.”

The Fiat 500EV powertrain is comprised of three main systems; high power electric powertrain module, advance lithium ion battery, and an EV control unit to manage power flows. Beginning in 2012, Chrysler Group will manufacture the Fiat 500EV for the United States market. All powertrain engineering and vehicle development will take place at Chrysler Group headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, but will be competitive with similar electric vehicles in the market. read more »

Passenger Cars

2011 Hyundai Sonata Named “Top Safety Pick” by IIHS

Today, the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata joins an elite group of motor vehicles as a “Top Safety Pick” of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This award is only given to those vehicles that do a superior job protecting people in front, side, rear and rollover crashes. A car’s ability to handle itself in these crashes is determined by how many “GOOD” ratings it receives in each of the IIHS tests. Additionally, the vehicle must have electronic stability control readily available as an option. read more »

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